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Mesa Arch



Arriving at 6AM at Mesa Arch does not grant you the best spot. Photographers start queuing way earlier in the morning. I had to fight my way through a wall of t...
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Arriving at 6AM at Mesa Arch does not grant you the best spot. Photographers start queuing way earlier in the morning. I had to fight my way through a wall of tripods to get an ok spot. An hour down the line, the sun peeped through the arch and the shooting session could begin. This shot combines 6 pictures: 4 for the sky and 2 for the arch itself. For half the shots I had my finger blocking the sun, as suggested by Jimmy McIntyre in his great tutorials.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Depth In Nature Photo Contest
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Contest Finalist in Unforgettable Landscapes Photo Contest by Zenfolio
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
carmhensissy skippy4280 SaraNicole rliu793 tidesend larryollivier Ana-Photogirl99 +27
Superb Composition
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Outstanding Creativity
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Depth In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
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ViewBug Photography AwardsTop 10 class
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Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class
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Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class week 1
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My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 3Top 10 class week 1
Finding Arches In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
Creative Compositions Photo Contest Vol4Top 20 class
Finding Arches In Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Creative Compositions Photo Contest Vol4Top 20 class week 1
Amazing Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class
Amazing Nature Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
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World Photography Day Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
80 Stays Around the World Photo ContestTop 10 class
80 Stays Around the World Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Unforgettable Landscapes Photo Contest by ZenfolioTop 30 class
Unforgettable Landscapes Photo Contest by ZenfolioTop 20 class week 3
Unforgettable Landscapes Photo Contest by ZenfolioTop 20 class week 2
Unforgettable Landscapes Photo Contest by ZenfolioTop 20 class week 1

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4 Comments | Report
jen4582
 
jen4582 March 29, 2017
Perfect! Nice capture!
FBphotography
FBphotography April 11, 2017
Thank you so much!
Byronfairphotography PRO+
 
Byronfairphotography September 24, 2017
Stunning capture / Voted
FBphotography
FBphotography April 25, 2018
Thank you very much for your support
Kkrup794
 
Kkrup794 April 08, 2018
Awesome shot!
FBphotography
FBphotography April 25, 2018
Thank you!
RGHunt
 
RGHunt February 05, 2019
Very beautiful scene. Great composition.

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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at Mesa Arch, Canyonlands national park, in Utah (USA).
Time
Mesa Arch is best around sunrise, when the sun peaks above the mountain in the background, and the orange glow light-up the sandstone.
Lighting
It's a difficult picture to take, as it is shot directly into the sun. To show the whole of the scene dynamic range, I had to take 5-6 bracketed shots, some of them masking the sun with my finger to get rid of the lens flare.
Equipment
I used a Gitzo Traveler tripod, a Canon 5DS R and a Canon 16-35mm f/4.
Inspiration
I saw a great tutorial by Jimmy Mcintyre shot at this exact location, and as I was planning a road trip in Utah, I thought I would visit the Arch myself.
Editing
I followed the workflow set out by Jimmy in his tutorial: bracket shots with different exposures, with two versions per exposure (one with the sun, one blocking the sun, with your finger in front of the lens). The shots are then merged in Photoshop using luminosity masks.
In my camera bag
I usually carry my tripod, three lenses (16-35 f/4, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6, 85 f/1.4), my camera body (5DS R) and a set of filters (polarizer/ND/ND grad).
Feedback
Anyone who would like to take a similar shot should definitely have a look at this tutorial http://www.shutterevolve.com/luminosity-mask-workflow-remove-lens-flare-photoshop/ . It is a thorough walk through on a quite complex shot. My piece of advice? Get there way before sunrise. I was there three hours before sunrise and I had to fight my way through between tripod legs... And close down your aperture to get the sunstar effect!

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